Charlie Waite, one of Britain’s most famous and best-loved landscape
photographers, started out as an actor. With an interest in photography kindled by his father, it
was the drama of the lighting on the stage set that was to play a significant
part in influencing his approach to his landscape photography. Leaving
the stage, he went off to capture the drama of the natural world. Today his time is divided between exhibitions,
lectures, running field trips and taking pictures. Charlie has 22 books
to his name and a new book due for publication in October 2002. We caught
up with him at his exhibition in London, “Light, Colour, Landscape:
Images of Italy” and talked to him about his work.
The gallery is lined with row upon row of superbly printed
photographs, varying in size from 40 x 30 through to 120 x 60 cm. Looking
at these pictures is like looking through Charlie’s own personal
window, the colours are staggeringly beautiful and take your breath away.
The simplicity of design and structure in his photographs, fools you into
thinking these are easy pictures to take, far from it.
Charlie was standing in a corner looking at his own work, quietly
observing and listening to the comments of praise from the many visitors.
They were unaware of Charlie’s presence, deep down he was probably
wishing he was in Tuscany rather than confined to a gallery on a rainy
day in London.
Hi Charlie, these are fantastic prints,
the quality is outstanding.
Thanks, they are ink jet prints I am also amazed at the quality
you can get from printers today. For my exhibition and limited edition
sales, ink jets are ideal.
What printer are you using for your work?
Until recently I was using the Epson 7500 24 inch printer,
but for the OXO tower exhibition and this one I purchased the new Epson
7600 printer. It is so, so
good, I just can’t find the words. The differences between
the 7600 and the 7500 are incredible, they are using new inks, which I
have only just appreciated. Just look at that leaf, my God, I can’t
believe it could be sharper, especially on art paper, and look at the
tonality in this sky. Prior to that it was Iris prints which were
phenomenally expensive and there’s not a jot of difference.
In fact the Epson is better and it’s archival.
Are you printing your own work?
Yes, I am but with a minimal knowledge. I have all my pictures
professionally drum scanned. All I have to do is enter the size and press
the button. I’m absolutely fine about it. If needed
I apply a minute amount of contrast to compensate for the paper, and I’m
happy. That’s about my limit for the time being.
that all your photographs are printed on art paper what are you using?
paper is fine art watercolour paper which I get from “The Mill”
down in Somerset.
Did you get a profile to use with this paper?
No, I used the Archival settings on the printer, I just chose
the nearest setting to the paper and pressed the button, and it works.
My God, just look at all the profiles you can get, you can become inundated
with them! I like the watercolour finish on this paper, it gives my pictures
an extra dimension and my collectors also like it.
© Vincent Oliver www.photo-i.co.uk
- photographs © Charlie